There are a couple of points that resonated with me -
1) Architecturally uppity Americans may well have to get used to the reassuring cultural connotations of big box stores for many people if they want to integrate cultural institutions into everyday life.
"The generation we live in today, when they look at an old-fashioned steepled church, there's a fascination but also a little bit of intimidation," said Bob Corry, an associate pastor. "If we dolled up our building, we'd be pushing away an element of our community that desperately needs to be welcomed."
Hence, the Orange Lounge, which is the Orange County Museum of Art's branch location at the South Coast Plaza Mall. Yeah, the mall. The Orange Lounge doesn't fully take advantage of the mall vernacular to reach out to passing shoppers, but I still love the idea.
2) Also, yet another reminder about the difference between the database and the search engine
Ms. Christensen says she will return to Calvary Chapel in a few weeks to record the latest stages of its rebirth as a place of worship. But first she will visit sites in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Alabama. "I could be this database that sits here and never moves, but it's been so important to me to go out and investigate," she said. "There's nothing on the Web site I haven't seen with my own eyes."
3) And finally, once again, the importance of being precise about our vocabulary
Julia Christensen talks about the "reuse" of big box stores, but to me it looks much more like "recovery." Or maybe "recuperation." It's not that the big box stores are being taken other by other huge chains. What she's chronicling is transformation, not repetition. It's worth remembering that big empty boxes, no matter how ugly they look from the outside, can be endlessly transformed within.